The 8-bit arcade font, deconstructed



In his book Arcade Game Typography, type designer Toshi Omagari breaks down the evolution, design, and history of arcade game fonts.
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In the video above, he guides us through this delightful 8-bit world and breaks it down pixel by pixel.

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Let’s talk about sources!
Archive.org has a wonderful collection of vintage arcade games that you can play online. This is where many of the videos of arcade games came from.

In addition to that, Barcade allowed us to film their collection of arcades.

Toshi’s book served as a blueprint for all the fonts you see in the video. You can purchase it here:

Finally, a few great places on the internet I discovered while researching the video:
This arcade font writer created by @photonstorm

Archive.org’s magazine and manuals collection:

This list of websites compiled by Atarimania:

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All Comments

  • Thanks so much for watching the video! I’ve listed quite a few fun things to check out in the description, including a link to archive.org’s internet arcade, which allows you to play hundreds of vintage arcade games for free online, and Toshi’s book, which will keep you occupied for hours if you’re bored at home right now! – Estelle

    Vox June 15, 2020 7:40 pm Reply
  • It is a pity that it was not mentioned that sometimes there were fonts saved on an even smaller grid. Where the capital letter "E" was written to a height of 4 pixels 🙂 How? The center line is do by grey color not white in the lower positon 🙂

    Bartosz Kozak June 15, 2020 7:40 pm Reply
  • who were the group of developers that created the original font?

    Shelley Lloyd June 15, 2020 7:40 pm Reply
  • Long live pixel art! ❤

    Luís Kupo June 15, 2020 7:40 pm Reply
  • Macky Sall is a corrupt President

    Ousseynou Diba June 15, 2020 7:40 pm Reply
  • i’m mad i’m seeing no minecraft comments

    wejdy b June 15, 2020 7:40 pm Reply
  • THE TING GO SKRRAAAAA
    Sorry I had to

    Basd_XGT4 June 15, 2020 7:40 pm Reply
  • Great…really great video !! ; )

    diego perez lozano June 15, 2020 7:40 pm Reply
  • It's "Legend of Zelda", not "Legends of Zelda". You put an unnecessary s in there. How can you mess that up real talk, not just in the captions but also when you spoke.

    GreenSwede June 15, 2020 7:40 pm Reply
  • Lest be honest, we all came here from ROBLOX

    BeepBeepImASheep237 BeepBeepImASheep237 June 15, 2020 7:40 pm Reply
  • Finally YouTube recommended me Non corona

    Cᴘᴛ Sᴇᴋʜᴀʀ June 15, 2020 7:40 pm Reply
  • As a designer and typography lover, I enjoyed this video. Thank you Vox!

    Gavin Gardner June 15, 2020 7:40 pm Reply
  • I wish everywhere used lexend

    Kayla Mitchell June 15, 2020 7:40 pm Reply
  • I am more impressed that a Japanese fellow who developed games more than 40 years ago can speak so good English!

    DogOfHades June 15, 2020 7:40 pm Reply
  • I just watched a video about font.

    Joshua Cantonwine June 15, 2020 7:40 pm Reply
  • Legends of Zelda hit me like a truck

    Puj June 15, 2020 7:40 pm Reply
  • Video games and typography – two of my favourite things combined

    Colin Lamberton June 15, 2020 7:40 pm Reply
  • Oh my god,this video is awesome …it's awesomeness beats any blockbuster movie…
    P.S I gave a big applause to those editors and artists who created this video

    jessy simon June 15, 2020 7:40 pm Reply
  • Bruh she said Legends of Zelda

    Smile for Discord June 15, 2020 7:40 pm Reply
  • honestly one of the best things you can do for your creativity is to try to limit it

    Jalyn Tan June 15, 2020 7:40 pm Reply
  • Excuse me?

    "Legends Of Zelda"?

    THERE IS NO S!

    Michael J June 15, 2020 7:40 pm Reply
  • What are your favorite arcade games?
    Feel free to reply
    Mine is Dig dug

    Logan Phillips June 15, 2020 7:40 pm Reply
  • 6:47 Women in bikinis riding mythical creatures = unacceptable??? Oh come on that sounds awesome! 😂😂

    JimmyFoxhound June 15, 2020 7:40 pm Reply
  • LegendS of Zelda….
    ugh

    Marc-Anthony Nava June 15, 2020 7:40 pm Reply
  • 8:02

    ZedTaku June 15, 2020 7:40 pm Reply
  • Legends?

    AHoodedPsycho DEUX June 15, 2020 7:40 pm Reply
  • 00:35 "you probably recognize it when it says this" ROASTED

    Sergio de la Vega June 15, 2020 7:40 pm Reply
  • 2:00 No. Each tile represents 8 Bytes. That's 8^2 bits. A line of a tile consists out of 1 Byte; each pixel one Bit of it. The Byte describes only the ID of the character displayed here, but does not contain the character data itself.

    TheTuubster June 15, 2020 7:40 pm Reply
  • I am always impressed by Estelle´s videos. Missing Earworm though.

    Bruno Santiago June 15, 2020 7:40 pm Reply
  • noooooo 7:10 whyyyyyy

    Dead Im dead June 15, 2020 7:40 pm Reply
  • “…and legends of zelda” broke my immersion

    Noah Sabadish June 15, 2020 7:40 pm Reply

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